Japan Government provide soft loan for polio eradication in Pakistan
The notes were signed and exchanged between Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Takashi Kurai and Additional Secretary for Economic Affairs Division, Mrs. Amin Anjum Assad here.
This loan will be utilized to procure 273 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccines for polio eradication campaign.
The Government of Japan has focused on polio eradication, which is indeed a global challenge for public health.
Since 1996, for over 20 years, Japan has supported polio campaign in Pakistan by way of procurement of polio vaccine, strengthening of logistics for delivery through cold chain system, improvement in the treatment of vaccinators, dispatching Japanese medical experts, and so on.
Thereby Japan's assistance including this Yen loan reaches approximately 22.6 billion Japanese Yen (approximately USD 212.5million) in total.
At the signing ceremony, Takashi Kurai stated,"Our assistance this year of about 6.2 billion Yen is the biggest among all the assistance we have ever provided so far in this area and we sincerely hope that this yen loan will be a finishing blow to polio infection and lead to complete eradication of polio where we can see all the children free from it."
Talking to APP, Hohei Ishiguro, Project Formulation Advisor at Japan International Cooperation Agency, Pakistan Office, said that this assistance would help government to make Pakistan a polio free country by the end of this year.
Polio Coordinator, National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. M. Safdar informed that polio cases were drastically decreased during the last two years. He said government with the help of donor agencies was making efforts to wipe out polio virus.
He said during the first four months of this year, only 11 polio cases were reported.